I've not been on here or anywhere of late as I've been ill (Bad cold). It's only today that I've felt half human again and what with the incredible weather we've been having - 18 degrees on Thursday and Friday here in the South East, felt that today was a good opportunity to get a session in over at the tennis courts. I'd emailed Franks Dad and made arrangements for them to join us and it turned out that it would only be Frank.
We had to walk over with all the kit as my cars busted at the moment, but we got over there only to be met by two sets of cricketers! In one corner a Dad with two small boys of about 6-7 years old and in the centre using our pitch marks the Sri Lankan bloke and his Chinaman bowling son. I've mentioned this bloke before in the blog, I said hello to him and ascertained that he'd only just beaten us to the wicket by a couple of minutes. We ended up setting up along one side as they practiced in the middle. Ben suggested after a while when it was obvious that we were hitting the ball through their practice area frequently, that I invited them to join in and I did so. He said he might do, and that they were going to finish up and go and do some fielding practice over on the grass and might join us later.
As they packed up the other little kids did as well and we were left with the whole space for ourselves. We played with our normal format but batted in pairs, so that we practiced working together in pairs looking to score the best partnership. Later in the session the Sri-Lankan bloke and his son came back, so we had - Kieran, the two Sri-Lankan's, Frank, Joe, Ben and me all practicing in match mode - all very cricket specific re-creating scenarios that they have to deal with in games.
Joe bowled really well, he's ditched spin bowling I reckon and I can't see him returning to it for a while if ever, which I'm not fussed about as long as he enjoys his bowling/cricket. He was bowling seam up and very accurately and bowling with some serious away swing to the right handers and in-swing to Frank obviously as he's a left-hander. He took Kierans wicket with a lovely ball that went straight through him with a little extra bounce and speed and just clipped the bails over the middle stump. Normally Kieran bats quite freely if on his own, but with the focus on winning within a partnership scenario, he seemed to have put pressure on himself. I batted with the Sri-Lankan bloke and we had the leading total and retired and Ben and the Sri-Lankan lad went next. Ben went in using the 'Eye in' bat and batted out of his skin! Front foot drives along the ground straight back past the bowler, Cover Drives in the gap between Mid off and Cover - superb batting and he even said himself... "I'm liking this bat Dad, you seen how I'm batting here?' They went on to create the highest partnership of 26. With Ben eventually losing his wicket prancing down the wicket to Frank for a stumping.
Frank bowled well, getting the ball to turn a lot, I strugglec against him, but most of the balls were outside the off-stump leg breaks and this scenario with all the time in the world there was no need to play the shots. What Franks needs to do there is pitch the ball on Leg Stump or just outside of Leg Stump - probably fuller with me as I'm no good at balls coming into the legs.
I bowled Frank with a double bounce Wrong Un which dismissed him hitting the stumps. This would be the first and only time I've got a ball passed him in this way, but he argued that it was a No-Ball, I explained the law...
6. Ball bouncing more than twice or rolling along the groundThe umpire shall call and signal No ball if a ball which he considers to have been delivered, without having previously touched bat or person of the striker,either (i) bounces more than twiceor (ii) rolls along the groundbefore it reaches the popping crease.
But I'm going to not claim the wicket as he may have not played it in the belief that it was a No-Ball before he even played his stroke, plus I wasn't happy with it as a delivery anyway!
Ben bowled the Sri-Lankan Dad with a beautiful ball that went righ through him to hit the top of middle stump, the bloke was impressed as well.
Frank was asking about the Wrong Un and I said to give it a go and see how it works out, but not to spend too much time on it. I also said to work on his Top-Spinner first as it'll help with the wrong un and getting that sussed without having to risk going too far.